What do you guys think of this?
>Ask novelists today whether they spend more time watching TV or reading fiction and prepare yourself, at least occasionally, to hear them say the unsayable.
>That this represents a crisis for the novel seems to me undeniable. But a crisis can be an opportunity. It incites change. And the novel needs to keep changing if it is to remain novel. It must, pilfering a phrase from TV, boldly go where no one has gone before.
>In the words of the Canadian writer Sheila Heti: “Now that there are these impeccable serial dramas, writers of fiction should feel let off the hook more — not feel obliged to worry so much about plot or character, since audiences can get their fill of plot and character and story there, so novelists can take off in other directions, like what happened with painting when photography came into being more than a hundred years ago. After that there was an incredible flourishing of the art, in so many fascinating directions. The novel should only do what the serial drama could never do.”
I've seen a few young writers claim television influence. IMO it won't matter much
in the future because the "golden age" is over. You had new platforms forced to take risks, giving full control over to creatives (first cable, then pay channels, then streaming). The function of these programs is no longer about selling strictly "quality" since the platforms have become ubiquitous as well as mature fully formed business models. They need to reach their now wide audience and with that comes conventions, imitations, watering down, and heavy creative oversight aka Network Television. There will never be another Sopranos, Deadwood, Mad Men, The Wire, etc.
Yeah, yeah, the stuff that you're saying could be named like "saturation of genre". It's something that happened in the literature, happens in the theaters and, like you point, may and certainly will happen with TV. But what got my attention was that the guy said that the novels have to "reinvent" themselves. Isn't this something that go completely against the /lit/core of things and general more "artist" artists that tend to make art of one or two century ago that has no identification with the contemporary audience?
I think that the new authors and writers have to spend time thinking about this. Literature has something to learn from the others media.
Yes, that is the fucking point. But the question is: what the novel can do that nor other medias can?
The visual arts will never be able to get into a character's head and how they think as effectively and with less time than a novel can. At least not in our lifetime
Two chapters can give you a better understanding of a character than two seasons can.
Create a fleshed out, thriving world with many different characters that are all many different personalities.
Most tv shows only have like 3-5ish important characters and every other character is just ancillary. Those other characters don't really have lives of their own or are their own people, they just exist to support and drive the actions of the important characters.
A novel can easily have like 10 important characters that are all their own person, with their own personalities, ambitions and actions that are independent of other characters. Probably the only TV show that has come even remotely close to accomplishing that in any meaningful way is The Wire, and is part of the reason it's frequently regarded as one of the best shows ever.
>Most tv shows only have like 3-5ish important characters and every other character is just ancillary
just because that this is the standard formula does not mean it is a rule for tv show.
It depends on the execution of things. Theater, for example, have almost the same tools that literature have. You can say that literature is word on paper that evoke images of a serial of things, but the theater can also use at least the spoken word, like when a character in the movie narrates and say his thoughts in a voice off. If well executed, it can reach the same deepness that literature has.
But there goes the aesthetic aspect of the written word and spoken word. And the ambiguity of these words in the paper. Yes, only literature can do these type of things with the words and the language, but I think that we couldn't forgot to point that the theater and other medias can also do things in a way that literature and each one of all these medias can.
I find interesting when comicfans find "literary" in a trait of their characters drama, when this kind of character approach is very common in the written word, though few gives a damn...
>But what got my attention was that the guy said that the novels have to "reinvent" themselves. Isn't this something that go completely against the /lit/core of things and general more "artist" artists that tend to make art of one or two century ago that has no identification with the contemporary audience?
so /lit/'s obsession with the classics does not mean everyone on here is writing anachronistic fiction. the modern artist or writer studies the great works before him but still has to operate from within his own time period. everyone is trying to create something new, to reinvent, the influence of TV doesn't jumpstart that process, it's already inherently happening
It's not, but most shows have a lot of trouble breaking out of that formula. Because it's hard to do with the obstacles in their way.
Paying a bunch of actors big money to be an important character and time constraints to give each character meaningful development and screentime are the chief reasons, but there are others such as the wardrobe budget into giving each character their own look.
You'll see that as I give these examples, budget is the primary limiting factor here. A novel has no such problems with budget to create an diverse, well-rounded cast of characters and also doesn't need as much time to make them stand out from each other.
Of course budget means fuckall without great writing, and the few shows that manage to overcome both of those challenges to create an exemplary band of characters are almost always beloved by critics and fans alike.
Few shows manage to overcome the challenge
>>But it is voice, tone, the sense of the author’s mind at work, that are the essence of literature, and they exist in language, not in images.
I agree with him, but this is nonsense. Take a screenplay that says [Car chase ensues], and hand that screenplay to three different directors. You get three completely different chase scenes, each with different "voices," "tones," and "senses of the directors' minds at work."
that said i don't think there's any wiggle room for artistic potential in television. the form is too bound by ratings.
>Isn't this something that go completely against the /lit/core of things and general more "artist" artists that tend to make art of one or two century ago that has no identification with the contemporary audience?
what the fuck is this supposed to mean
Am I the only one who sees nothing wrong with this? Plays are older than novels, and the scripts for television are basically plays.
GRRM may not be well respected here, but he's an example of a novelist who spent a lot of his career writing for TV. Harlan Ellison did too, for that matter.
I'm not surprised to hear this kind of sentiment from Mohsin Hamid. I read his novel, How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia, and was stunned not only by the episodic quality of its chapters, but the cinematic establishment of his scenes. I recall one particular moment where the scene began with a spy satellite, zooming down to a fighter jet, swooping over a high-rise building, flying low through the window of that high rise and settling into the camera of a woman's laptop which had been hijacked by peeping toms trying to get a show. the global scale and the camera-lens quality of the scene was unbelievable. i recommend it. point being, it seems clear to me that the man likes tv. i dunno.
if u dont see his point ur kind of a moron
lets be real, prior to film one of the major draws of the novel was that it was the best form for telling a story. thats no longer true.
u shouldnt be telling stories in novels anymore (not in the traditional sense), but rather exploring a psyche. a film has a much more difficult time inhabiting the mindspace of a person than a novel does, that is the novel's primary adv over film. it represents thought way better than film can, whereas film captures situations way better than a novel can
his comparison to painting and photos is also pretty on point with the impression inversion from photorealism
I agree that GRRM's prose is movie-like: it seems like its purpose s to be utilitarian and transparent, like a script, to allow for the visualization of the scenes to happen as you read unimpeded.
But then again, seeing it adapted for actual television somehow makes it seem stupid and gratuitous. Imaginative visualization is generally superior for plot-driven storytelling -- television and film are specifically visual media that benefit from showing things in a way that prose would be inefficient for or incapable of. GRRM's work doesn't really fall under that category. I think the show generally adds nothing to the novels, it's like having the novels played for you, except there are fewer characters and plot lines, and less world building.
Generally 'literary reading' is more satisfying than reading for plot. But there are cases where even plot-driven storytelling just loses some of its point if you put it onscreen. I also think that serial dramas etc. on TV are not as good as the average book. There are good TV shows and bad books, sure, but the middle of the road is nowhere near close if you compare them. Television as a medium for whatever reason is just not as good, and that's even filtering out trash like sitcoms and reality TV and whatever else, and sticking just to shows that are supposed to have characters and a plot.
I'm not sure I believe that networks are going to just fall into willful mediocrity with the competition from online and streaming content. AMC, the network that brought you Mad Men and Breaking Bad, can only coast on those for so long before they actually need to come up with another Mad Men or Breaking Bad (and given their interest in those shows in the first place, it seems they'd want to keep doing this anyway to continue the network's critical prestige).
FX has pretty much always just thrown money at It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, with no meddling -except to request a higher profile costar in the 2nd season, which came in the form of Danny DeVito- and it's in its 11th season, which has been just has fleshed out and amusing as it has nearly always been.